The Gower Landscape Partnership, which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) is repairing the ‘Great Wall of Mewslade’!
Anyone who has parked at Pitton Farm and walked down the valley to Mewslade bay will know that the unspoilt valley flanked with dramatic limestone cliffs is split along its length by an impressive and locally important dry stone wall. Probably over 200 years old and nearly 3 metres high in places, this giant structure was built to separate livestock on the common land at Rhossili from the adjacent privately owned fields.
However, despite the best efforts of local farmers and the National Trust to maintain the wall it has been looking in need of some attention in recent years and now thanks to this significant investment it will soon be looking at its best.
Local waller, Andy Roberts, has been employed by the project to rebuild the wall, in a project that will take nearly a year to complete.
Andy lives in Bishopston and is regarded as one of the best dry-stone wallers in South Wales, and is not daunted by the scale of the task. He works mainly on his own but occasionally has volunteers working with him.
The miles of stone walls around Gower were originally built by local farmers and land owners over the centuries, and often in different styles and sizes. There are still a few Gower farmers who have the skills to do this kind of work, and one of the aims of the GLP scheme is to train more people in this skilled practical work, helping to keep the cultural inheritance of Gower alive.
The Gower Society is particularly keen to restore this wall, because Thurba Head (at the head of the valley) was originally donated to the National Trust by Stephen Lee, who was an early active member of the Gower Society.
Once complete, visitors and residents will be able to appreciate the workmanship that Andy is producing and the fact that ‘The Great Wall of Mewslade’ will be still be stock proof in another 100 years time.